Friday, February 5, 2016

[Review] The Boy

Horror cinema is no stranger to creepy dolls. In fact, the infamous Annabelle from The Conjuring got her own spin-off not too long ago. The Boy arrived during the heart of January, which is usually never a good sign for a horror film unless it's on the festival circuit.

Greta (Lauren Cohan, who most people probably know as Maggie from "The Walking Dead") takes a nanny job at an old mansion hidden away in an English village. Little does she know, the child she's supposed to take care of is actually a life-sized frickin' doll. Its name is Brahms and his pale face and hollow gaze scream death. Greta laughs it off at first until she realizes the boy's parents are dead serious. They even give her directions about getting the boy dressed daily and reading to him at night.

"The whole thing is just creepy," Greta says to her friend on the phone. And we couldn't agree more. Eventually, the doll begins showing signs of life. The good news is that Greta now realizes the parents apparently aren't completely delusional. The bad news is that now she's holed up with a doll who has a mind of its own--excuse me, *his* own. Of course, there's a backstory behind it all, which you'll find out later. I won't spoil anything, but unfortunately the story takes a very dull path, and a filler subplot pretty much derails the whole thing for a while. When it snaps back into focus, the payoff/twist is disturbing but not really worth the wait.

Despite an eerie darkly-lit mood, and a mansion setting that you wouldn't want to be alone in, The Boy is low on scares and it feels like it's running through the motions the entire time. The false jumps, the phantom phone calls, the dreams--we've seen it all countless times before and better utilized in better horror films. Even Annabelle, which wasn't great, provides some scarier sequences than this. So, The Boy renders itself as the dreaded 'disposable' word. It's never insufferable, but there are just so many other films of this nature that you'd be better off spending your time on instead.


No comments:

Post a Comment